Oxford, Oxfordshire (PRWEB UK) 27 March 2014
The recommendations are detailed In the Final Report from The European Commission’s Expert Group on Retail Sector Innovation, an international team of retailers, academics and innovation specialists chaired by Dr Jonathan Reynolds of the Oxford Institute of Retail Management at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Key recommendations are to:
In the Report, the members of the Expert Group argue that retailing is the closest sector to the European citizen and consumer in the value chain and is therefore in a better position than other sectors to gather insight into the behaviour of consumers and coordinate and develop innovative strategies within European markets. However, there is a significant gap in the use of public funding for innovation between retailing and manufacturing and between retailing and the economy as a whole.
Reynolds says that this is because innovation in retailing, unlike that in sectors such as pharmaceuticals or chemical engineering, tends to be incremental rather than radical, can embrace new business models and processes as well as new technology, and is often conducted in partnership with others in the supply chain. Much innovation within the sector is naturally focused on increasing efficiency, boosting productivity and the speeding up of administrative processes. However, “the most effective kind of retail innovation can occur when there is a re-engineering of the whole shopping process in a more radical way.” This calls for stronger leadership of the retail innovation process and greater capacity to participate in laboratory environments. Retailers, particularly SMEs, also need easier access to EU information and funding.
“The retail sector’s scale, its role as a major employer, and its closeness to the consumer make it a vital part of improving economic performance, communities and lifestyles across Europe,” said Reynolds. “We need to close the gap between the sector’s existing capabilities and the ways in which it is supported in developing innovative products, services and technologies. We urge the European Commission and other stakeholders to follow our recommendations in order to more fully realize retailing’s capacity to contribute to growth and competitiveness in Europe.”
The retail sector is a significant contributor to the European economy and society. It is the largest private employer within the EU28 in terms of the number of people employed (18.7 million), employing more people than the construction sector and three times as many people as the financial services sector. It comprises 3.6 million businesses, the vast majority of which (95%) are SMEs.
The Final Report from the Expert Group on Retail Sector Innovation is published by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission and was commissioned as part of the European Retail Action Plan, designed to support the achievement of a single market in retailing.
For further information or to speak with Professor Reynolds, please contact the press office:
Clare Fisher, Head of Public Relations, Saïd Business School
Mobile: +44 (0) 7912 771090; Tel: 01865 288968
Josie Powell, Press Officer, Saïd Business School
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215, Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie.powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk
Notes to Editors
1 The Final Report
The final report is published by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission and was commissioned as part of the European Retail Action Plan.
2 About Professor Jonathan Reynolds
About Saїd Business School
Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.
In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2013) Saïd is ranked 12th. It is ranked 13th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2013) and 23rd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2014). The MBA is ranked 5th in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2012) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 23rd worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2013). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 6th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2013). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2013) and has ranked first in nine of the last ten years in The Times (Sept 2013). For more information, see http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/